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Wally’s World: Training Camp Edition

Training camps are officially open and fantasy football owners could not be happier! Ok, we would all probably be a little happier if week one was only a week away but you get the point.

As I prepare for a family vacation down south for a week it seemed like a good time for a quick hitting look at the opening week of training camp.

The first thing to keep in mind is that it is only the first week of training camp. Some of the news filtering out now will be obsolete in a week or so but some of it will prove to have long lasting implications. How to decipher which is which is wherein lies the fantasy owners dilemma.

Here are some quick hitting thoughts on the week that was.

From the ‘knock me over with a feather’ news desk Arian Foster is out with a groin injury that could sideline him until week nine or so.

Would hate to have had an actual draft start last week and be saddled with Foster. I am not racing to draft either Alfred Blue or Chris Polk. There is just too much uncertainty surrounding that situation right now to take a chance on anyone there.

Hey, can J.J. Watt play running back? I’m just saying.

With an uncertain quarterback situation and now a muddled backfield I am officially suggesting streaming team defenses that play the Texans.

You are welcome.

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Speaking of uncertain quarterback situations, it looks like the Buffalo Bills will be running the ball 40 times a game. Or at least they should. Poor Sammy Watkins may be in for a long year with that clown car of quarterback options.

Sorry Matt Cassel, E.J. Manuel and Tyrod Taylor but I am just not feeling you. More than likely the coaching staff isn’t either.

Here’s hoping that LeSean McCoy’s body can hold up to another 300-plus carry campaign.

Do not sleep on ‘Old Man River’ Fred Jackson in Buffalo this season as he always finds a way onto the field.

According to (MFL) Average Draft Positions in drafts since July 1st Lamar Miller is going in the 4th round of 12-team leagues.

I will take that every day of the week for a three-down running back that finished in the top 10 in both standard and PPR scoring in 2014.

So Darren McFadden has struggled to get on the field in training camp with hamstrings issues?

In other news, water is wet.

If Ryan Tannehill can develop a rapport with Kenny Stills then look out folks. Both could have huge fantasy seasons.

Reports out of Miami are that Tannehill has looked better than ever with his deep throws and Stills can flat out fly. It’s going to be interesting to see that duo work together.

The recent reports out of Oakland that Trent Richardson showed up at training camp above the required weight and isn’t a lock to make the 53-man roster should surprise absolutely no one.

It’s over for Richardson and let the Latavius Murray era begin! Murray now has a solid lock on the starting gig and should easily outperform his current ADP as that of a 5th round selection in 12-team formats.

With my well documented ‘wait on quarterbacks’ strategy I have found myself ending up with Eli Manning and Sam Bradford quite a bit.

Yes, that does make me a little nervous.

Consider me officially concerned with the progress (or lack thereof) Joique Bell is making in returning from offseason knee and Achilles surgeries.

The Detroit Lions running back that we want as of right now is rookie Ameer Abdullah.

As I have also mentioned before, do not forget about Theo Riddick in PPR formats. Detroit loves what the kid brings in the receiving game.

When all is said and done in Tennessee I still like rookie wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham over veteran Hakeem Nicks.

After a week of practice, Nicks is being praised and Green-Beckham has suffered some drops. That’s fine because I can’t get the image of an old, slow Nicks from Indianapolis out of my head.

Too many lower body injuries over the years for Nicks and Green-Beckham brings huge upside.

I may be going a little rookie crazy when looking at the Titans because I also see David Cobb surpassing Bishop Sankey as the starting running back sooner rather than later.

Go ahead and let the kids run, Ken Whisenhunt, because it can’t be as bad as last year.

That cheering you hear is Individual Defensive Players (IDP) owners seeing that Mario Williams of the Buffalo Bills is designated as a defensive end.

That position needs all the significant names it can get.

While we are at it let’s keep our fingers crossed that Williams’ teammate Jerry Hughes holds on to his designation as a defensive end as well.

Yes, I am a greedy IDP slappy.

It’s nice to see the San Francisco 49ers want to keep tight end Vernon Davis and are talking about an extension. Now, how about throwing the damn ball to him.

The six targets Davis saw in week one tied for his season high in 2014. Oh yeah, he had two touchdowns grabs in that game. Hello!

While Brandin Cooks is getting the preseason love as the wide receiver to grab from the New Orleans Saints I am grabbing veteran Marques Colston as much as possible.

Look for Colston to pick up more red zone looks in 2015 with Jimmy Graham out of the picture. Somebody has to account for the 23 looks that Graham has averaged in the red zone over the past two seasons.

Speaking of tight ends, remember the name Crockett Gillmore in Baltimore.

While rookie Maxx Williams has been anointed by many to step right in as the starter, I believe Gillmore has something to say about that having had a year’s experience in the offense.

Gillmore is a solid blocking tight end but people forget he had over 110 receptions and 1,300 receiving yards while at Colorado Sate with eight touchdowns.

So the talk out of Denver is that C.J. Anderson is in line to be the ‘bellcow’ running back.

Yes, please!

I have been consistently drafting Anderson as my #1 running back from the jump and love this news.

Not loving the reports that wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will be playing the slot position in three wideout sets for the Broncos. Was grabbing Sanders up like crazy when draft season opened at what looks like too high of a pick now.

Oh, well. That’s why we love this dang thing called fantasy football, eh?

Enjoy the Hall of Fame game, folks, as the 2015 NFL season officially gets underway. See you in a week!

About Wally Spurlin

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA). Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine as well as the 2015 edition. Wally is also a weekly co-host on the Fantasy Football Feeding Frenzy pod cast on Fantasy Sharks Radio at Blog Talk Radio.Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin